Try 1x for free
1x is a curated photo gallery where every image have been handpicked for their high quality. With a membership, you can take part in the curation process and also try uploading your own best photos and see if they are good enough to make it all the way.
Right now you get one month for free when signing up for a PRO account. You can cancel anytime without being charged.
Try for free   No thanks
Chained: a conceptual story

by Editor Marc van Kempen

I work under the name "PhotographerNL". My style of photography is the so-called “emotive style” with emphasis on expression and dramatic pose. For me, black & white photography accentuates the atmosphere that I want to conjure.

Therefore I like to share with you the making of the photo “Chained”


Hasselblad 500 C/M  .  Planar Lens 80mm  .  f/2,8  .  1/60sec  .  ISO 400  . No flash


The idea behind this conceptual photograph

I intended in some way to create an impressive piece of work. And not a work in which I wanted to provide a clear story by giving the work a clear title that would explain my intention.

Or to give the photo a fully worked out background idea. With the end result I wanted to give the viewer only a framework, in which he or she may think of the story himself. My idea became a girl with a chain in her hand.

To reinforce the story more, I decided to use a chain.

By the way, the model felt comfortable with it and could imagine which idea and story were behind the picture. To work with an almost inexperienced model can have a positive effect on the end result because the model was not pre-formed by the “standard” model poses. The model is a good girlfriend of mine and that made the setting and the idea workable and trustful for her. The intensity and the almost violence in this work could impress the viewer. These combined factors turned out to be a good combination in my opinion.

If you decide to create an image that you can describe as “different” or something more “violent”, then my tip to the photographer is to ask a model with whom you have worked before. Or ask a model out of your circle of friends.

There must be a certain level of confidence and you must discuss before the shoot what the basic idea is.

Let the model also try to test her ideas at the time of the shoot. My method is always that a shoot has to be cosy. And I always challenge the models to think about the setting, the scene, and the story. It’s much more pleasant to achieve the end result in cooperation with your model. This picture for example was made during some tests for the best modelling pose. We were trying some poses and I encouraged the model to find a comfortable pose within the basic dramatic idea. So this work is a perfect example of the cooperation with the model. Precisely this cooperation makes the image in my opinion a strong one, which you can see and feel in the photo. Confidence, professionalism, cosiness and a joint project make it not only easier to work out your idea, but you can go a step further in the shooting process to achieve the end result.

Post processing
For this image I’ve used minimum post processing of the original image. It’s made with an analogue 6 x 6 camera and in my opinion well-made photos normally have sufficient depth and atmosphere. So less post processing is necessary.
The only thing I've done in this picture is putting a little bit more contrast with Photoshop CS5 and a small touch of sharpness.

A little more about myself
My work is captured with natural light only. I have a preference for urban locations. As a photographer, I try to tell an open story, to capture an image, which will stimulate and challenge the viewer to create and form his or her own worlds and thoughts. Photography as photography should be. Street photography is an essential part of my work. Street photography gives me the possibility to record an atmosphere in a non-staged setting.